Socialist Worker

Scottish council workers to ballot on new pay offer

Issue No. 2123

A meeting of the Scottish Unison union local government branches last Friday agreed to reject the employers’ latest pay offer.

The offer was a 3 percent pay increase for the first year followed by 2.5 percent in the second year.

Many workers are furious with the offer. The union will now ballot its 100,000 members in Scottish local government – with the results due in early November.

Both the GMB and Unite unions are also to ballot and are recommending rejection.

Stephanie Herd, chair of Unison’s local government group, said, “Unison will be making it clear to our members that it will take a lot of pressure to get the employers to improve their offer.

“The employers are determined to keep the pay rise at the level of the current offer. If members hope to shift them we need to strengthen our industrial action strategy and members will need to be prepared to increase the level of their activity.

“There is no point simply voting to reject the offer – we have to intensify our industrial and political campaigning.”

It was the strike action in August and September that forced concessions from the employers.

Many activists feel there was no need to ballot and the offer should have been rejected and the programme of industrial action continued.

Fighting for a sizeable rejection of the offer can stop the campaign losing any more momentum.

That must be combined with pushing and building for strikes that can get decent pay for local government workers.

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Tue 14 Oct 2008, 18:24 BST
Issue No. 2123
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